Ashes of 'Star Trek' Creator's Widow to Fly in Space
The ashes of actress Majel Barrett Roddenberry, the widow of ?Star Trek? creator Gene Roddenberry, will be launched into deep space alongside those of her husband in a memorial spaceflight slated for 2012.
Roddenberry died of leukemia last month at age 76 and was involved with her late husband?s ?Trek? creation for more than 40 years, most recently as the voice of the ship?s computer in the upcoming film ?Star Trek? directed by J.J. Abrams.
She was touted as ?The First Lady of Star Trek? and had been involved in the franchise since its beginning, when she portrayed Number One - the second in command of the starship Enterprise - in the original series pilot. She later returned as Nurse Christine Chapel, Lwaxana Troi and the computer?s voice across all five television series in the franchise. ?
?I am pleased to announce today that we have planned a very compelling future memorial service for my mother and father,? said Roddenberry?s son Eugene Roddenberry, Jr., in a statement. ?The spacecraft is currently planned for launch in 2012 and it will carry their spirits, their memories, and the message of their life?s work into the cosmos.?
The ashes of Majel and Gene Roddenberry will be launched on the Voyager Memorial Spaceflight Service arranged by the Houston-based firm Celestis, Inc., which offers a range of memorial spaceflight services, including burial on the moon. Celestis? next flight, the Earth Orbit Service, is due to launch later this year.
The company launched a portion of Gene Roddenberry?s ashes into space in 1997 along with those of 23 other people during its debut Founders Flight, which launched aboard an Orbital Sciences Pegasus rocket. Gene Roddenberry died in 1991.
In 2007, Celestis launched another group of ashes, which included those of ?Star Trek? actor James Doohan and Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper, aboard a suborbital UP Aerospace rocket that launched from Spaceport America in New Mexico. ?
?Now, we look forward to fulfilling Majel Roddenberry?s wish by launching Gene and Majel on their own, personal star trek ? deep into the final frontier,? Celestis officials said.
The public can pay tribute to Majel Barrett Roddenberry and Gene Roddenberry by submitting messages that will accompany their ashes into space here at the Celestis Web site.
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